Do you know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why.
Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.
1: CALLE 23 BLANCO ($34)
“This awesome tequila made by Sophie Decobecq is one that focuses on fermentation and yeast, and the result is spectacular. Easy-drinking solo or in Margaritas, it’s a favorite. Buyers, beware that tequila is inherently a pricey thing to make and drink; your tequila should never be dirt cheap, or something is wrong.”—Ivy Mix, owner of Leyenda in New York City
2: EL JIMADOR REPOSADO ($28)
“This tequila is great for making Palomas and Margaritas. The flavor introduced at Casa Herradura during fermentation pairs wonderfully with citrus.”—Trevor Wheeler, bartender at The Meeting House in Rochester, Mich.
3: ESPOLÒN REPOSADO ($25)
“It’s great as both a cocktail and sipping tequila rested just long enough to add an oaky finish to sweet agave.”—Travis Sanders, bartender at Pennyroyal in Seattle
4: HERRADURA SILVER ($46)
“Herradura has a woody vanilla finish that adds an interesting twist to a Margarita. This is a great bottle to help build a home bar.”—Sanders
5: OLMECA ALTOS PLATA ($29)
“It’s my absolute favorite sipping or mixing tequila, unadulterated by wood, oak, and vanilla. All you’re tasting is high-elevation agave, terroir, and the tahona process.”—Nathaniel Smith, creative director of bar and drinks at Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Minneapolis
6: SIETE LEGUAS BLANCO ($45)
“To me, tequila has texture and depth. This tequila has some vegetal notes but not offensive, with some minerals present.”—Jose Medina Camacho, bar manager at Automatic Seafood and Oysters in Birmingham, Ala.
7: SIETE LEGUAS REPOSADO ($50)
“This is the benchmark for reposados everywhere, characteristic of the Highlands, being floral and a little peppery.”—Mix
8: TAPATIO BLANCO ($45)
“It’s tequila like it should be.”—Medina Camacho
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